Drumstick Sambar
South Indian

Drumstick Sambar

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Drumstick sambar is a very easy and simple sambar commonly prepared in all South Indian homes. There are many variations of making sambar and drumstick sambar is one of them. I am sharing with you an easy and instant way to prepare the Drumstick sambar at home. It is prepared using yellow lentils (Toor dal) cooked in a broth of fresh drumstick, onion, tomato, tamarind, and masala.

Sambar can also be made with a wide variety of vegetables for that I have shared a different post of Restaurant Style Sambar. I used homemade Sambar powder, you can use ready-made also. If you want to make homemade sambar powder then follow from this post: Sambar Powder.

Drumstick sambar is also called as Murungakkai Sambar in Tamil. Drumsticks are known as Saigan or Segva in North India. Drumsticks are the pods of the moringa plant and are used in making a variety of recipes in Indian cuisine.

When I was a child and we were living in a railway campus, there were a couple of trees next to our house and my Mom never missed using them in a variety of dishes. I still remember when my Mom used to make drumstick flower pakoda and drumstick potato curry. At that time I was not aware of its health benefits, since it was very easily available we didn’t know its importance. But now they are considered as a superfood. I miss eating them, so whenever I get some fresh drumstick at the grocery store I never miss bringing them home.

Benefits of Drumsticks

It is known as a super plant for its unique yet powerful properties that combat different ailments in our system. Drumstick and its leaves provide expectant mothers with necessary calcium, vitamins, zinc, and iron. Calcium is required for bone strengthening. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health. Iron alleviates anemia. Drumstick is one of those rare plant species whose seeds, flowers, leaves, and stems are edible and extremely nutritious. The stems of the moringa plants are mostly used in Indian kitchens to prepare scrumptious delicacies.

This healthy, nutritious, and delicious Drumstick Sambar goes very well with hot rice, idli, Paniyaram, Medu Vada, Dosa, Upma, etc. You may adjust the consistency of the sambar depending upon what you are serving with it. If making the sambar for idlis or dosa, then make it of medium consistency. If making for rice, then you can add less water and make a slightly thick sambar.

Do try other recipes :

Preparation Time: 15mins  ∏  Cooking Time: 35mins  ∏  Servings: 3-4 person

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

For Sambar

For Tempering

How to make Drumstick Sambar:

Make the Sambar

Step1: Soak seedless tamarind in the warm water and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Wash Toor dal and add it in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, and salt as per taste. Pressure cook it for 3-4 whistle on medium flame. Dal should be soft, mushy, and cooked well.
Step2: Turn on the flame and heat a large pot/pan. Pour around 1.5 cups of water then add sliced onion, tomato, drumstick, sliced green chili and let it boil on medium flame.

Step3: Now add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 2-3 tablespoon sambar masala powder and salt as per taste. (Note: we have also added salt while cooking dal). Cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame till all the veggies are soft and cooked well.

Step4: In the meanwhile when veggies are getting cooked we will check the cooked dal. Once the pressure from the cooker is naturally released open the lid and mash the dal with the masher or ladle so that there are no big pieces of dal. The dal should be smooth and very well blend with the water.

Step5: When drumstick turns soft, add cooked dal. Mix it well with the veggies.

Step6: Cover the pan and cook the drumsticks with the dal on a low to medium flame for 4-5 minutes so that all the flavors of sambar powder is absorbed completely.

Step7: Pour 1/4 cup of tamarind extract along with 1 teaspoon jaggery if using. Simmer drumstick sambar on low to medium flame for 3-4 minutes. The raw aroma of tamarind should go away.

Step8: Check the salt and sambar masala, add more if required. Turn off the flame. Cover the pan and keep aside.

Make the Tadka

Step9: Heat a tadka pan on medium flame. Pour 1 tablespoon oil, once it is hot add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (or methi) seeds, and a pinch of asafoetida (or heeng). Let the seeds crackle for 20-30 secs.

Step10: Add red chilly along with curry leaves, let them splutter. Turn off the flame.

Step11: Pour this tempering immediately over the prepared sambar and mix well. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves. Cover the lid so that flavors of tempering get infused in the sambar.

Step12: Drumstick Sambar is ready to serve along with hot steamed rice. You can also serve it with Idli, Dosa or Medu vada.

Drumstick Sambar


  • The drumsticks should be cooked well and tender, but take care that they do not get overcooked.
  • To save some time you may soak the tour dal for 20minutes for fast cooking.
  • Sambar powder is the key ingredient, use fresh homemade sambar masala for authentic taste or a good brand store bought sambar powder.
  • You can use any veggies of your choice just don’t add too much of it. There should be some ratio of veggies and dal.
  • I like my sambar to be on the thicker side, however, you may add water as desired to bring it to a consistency you like.
  • If possible use fresh curry leaves which gives this sambar a unique aroma.

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